Google removes 'Beta' label from Gmail, other services

Google announced on its company blog that starting from today the company will remove the beta label from Gmail, Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk.

Matthew Glotzbach, Director of Product Management, Google Enterprise noted "We're often asked why so many Google applications seem to be perpetually in beta. For example, Gmail has worn the beta tag more than five years. We realize this situation puzzles some people, particularly those who subscribe to the traditional definition of "beta" software as not being yet ready for prime time."

Google says it has added new features to the Google Apps suite. Offline access to e-mail and calendars and better access to Google Apps for BlackBerry users are some of the improvements. Google admitted that they have "come to appreciate that the beta tag just doesn't fit for large enterprises that aren't keen to run their business on software that sounds like it's still in the trial phase". Many analysts have argued that big businesses were concerned Google could keep to their SLAs and this may help win more confidence.

Although Google is removing the beta tags today, users who like the tag will be able to bring it back in Gmail by enabling the "Back to Beta" setting.

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51 Comments

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I was really hoping they'd fix the dot bug before claiming Gmail was final. I'm so tired of getting legit emails for other folks.

I was always wondering why they are keeping these beta Tags. If they considered that the application might have some problems so every single web applications on the web should put a beta label on. otherwise for instance Gmail has been there for years and basically it works completely fine. it should be maintained regularly of course just like every other web applications but keeping beta Tag forever is weird.
Now another joke from google allowing users to bring back Beta label. Are they kidding us? :-/

I thought I read awhile ago that they didn't think it was a big deal to use the beta tag for longer than most would. I have always found it annoying that they couldn't release it from "beta". They didn't think it meant that much. I always felt they never thought the software was good enough, but you could still use it.
Finally one stupid thing about Google is done with (unless they come up with something new and slap beta on it forever)

Finally? :P

In other related things, my account on Digital Point forums just got activated by an administrator at about midnight, months after I originally registered at the Digital Point forums. :lol:

So with all this, can we say Google's 'beta status' doesn't conform to industry-standards as 'not being stable for a productive environment'? And has never conformed so in all these years?! That's like knowing Santa doesn't exist!

And if that weren't the case, just removing the 'beta' label off a product doesn't make it stable. Or does it?! Is that how v1.0 arises?! God open my eyes!

Gmail is too awesome with all the lab settings turned on, one of the newer ones being "Authentication icon for verified senders".

This is good news and all, but...

Although Google is removing the beta tags today, users who like the tag will be able to bring it back in Gmail by enabling the "Back to Beta" setting.

Why would you do this?

The main reason beta was there for so long was because Google were using it to signify they are always working on/adding features to it. They have obviously become attached to this philosophy over the years but are being forced to remove it for marketing reasons. I have no doubt that pretty much every Google employee with by using this "feature" as its a part of their culture, and strangely has become part of some of the hardcore gmail users' cultures.

Julius Caro said,
Thats why some keep using internet explorer 6 :)


Does that also mean they continue to use neowin ~ hell yeah!

Jugalator said,
True that. These users can usually be found in basements, running Lynx as their web browser, and editing in vi.


Hey Lynx Rocks! especially on my 386-66....

"Lynx is a text browser for the World Wide Web. Lynx 2.8.5 runs on Un*x, VMS, Windows 95/98/NT, DOS386+ but not 3.1, 3.11, or OS/2 EMX. The current developmental version is also available for testing. Ports to Mac are in beta test".